Raoul Peck (b. 1953, Port-au-Prince, Haiti) is an award-winning Haitian filmmaker, of both documentary and feature films, and a political activist. Briefly, in the 1990s, he was Haiti's Minister of Culture.
At age 8, the Haitan-born Peck and his family fled the Duvalier dictatorship and joined his father in Léopoldville, Democratic Republic of the Congo. His father, H. B. Peck, had already taken a job there as professor of agriculture along with many Haitian professionals invited by the government to fill positions recently vacated by the departing Belgians. His mother would serve as secretary to mayors of Léopoldville for many years. The family resided in DRC for the next 24 years.
Peck attended schools in the DRC (Léopoldville), in the United States (Brooklyn), and in France (Orléans), where he earned a baccalaureate, before studying industrial engineering and economics at Berlin's Humboldt University. He spent a year as a New York City taxi driver and worked (1980–85) as a journalist and photographer before attending and receiving a film degree (1988) from the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) in West Berlin.
Peck initially developed short experimental works and socio-political documentaries, before moving on to feature films. His feature L’Homme sur les quais (1993; The Man by the Shore) was the first Haitian film to be released in theatres in the United States. It was also selected for competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.
Peck served as Minister of Culture in the Haitan government of Prime Minister Rosny Smarth (1996–97), ultimately resigning his post along with the PM. He detailed his experiences in this position in a book, Monsieur le Ministre… jusqu'au bout de la patience.
Peck has achieved his highest degree of international public attention for Lumumba, his 2000 feature film about Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and the period around the independence of the Belgian Congo in June 1960.
Awards and accolades
- Human Rights Watch's Nestor Almendros Prize (1994)
- Sony Special Prize, Locarno Festival (for Chère Catherine, 1997)
- Human Rights Watch's Lifetime Achievement Award (2001)
- Procirep Prize, Festival du Réel (for Lumumba—Death of a Prophet, 2002)
- Best Documentary, Montreal Film Festival (for Lumumba—Death of a Prophet, 2002)
- Jury member, Berlin International Film Festival (2002)
- Human Rights Watch's Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award (2003)
- De Cuba Traigo Un Cantar (short; 1982)
- Exzerpt (short; 1983)
- Leugt (short; 1983)
- The Minister of the Interior is on our Side (short; 1984)
- Merry Christmas Deutschland (short; 1984)
- Haitian Corner (1987–88)
- Lumumba: La mort du prophète (Lumumba: Death of a Prophet, 1992)
- L’Homme sur les quais (The Man by the Shore, 1993)
- Haiti - Le silence des chiens (Haiti - Silence of the Dogs, 1994)
- Desounen: Dialogue with Death (1994)
- Chère Catherine (1997)
- Corps plongés (It's Not About Love, 1998)
- Lumumba (2000)
- Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle (2001)
- Sometimes in April (2005)
- L’Affaire Villemin (2006), TV Series
- Moloch Tropical (2009)
- Karl Marx in production, 2009
- "Festival de Cannes: The Man by the Shore". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 19 August 2009.
- Stolen Images, Seven Stories Press
- Raoul Peck profile for the film Lumumba, Zeitgeist Films. Accessed March 17, 2011.
- "The Jury of the 65th Festival de Cannes". festival-cannes.com. Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
- Raoul Peck at the Internet Movie Database
- California Newsreel page on Lumumba: La mort du prophète
- AT LUNCH WITH: Raoul Peck;Exporting Haitian Culture to the World - The New York Times (Movies) May 1986
- "Moloch Tropical" by Raoul Peck - Pacificfreepress.com, July 2010